Neither the peace agreement that ended Sudan’s second civil war (1983-2005) nor South Sudan’s 2011 independence brought stability to the region. A difficult divorce from Khartoum that included a border conflict, an oil shutdown, then brief cooperation, has been followed since December 2013 by a new phase of civil war in South Sudan in which the now two Sudans’ wars are increasingly merged. The regional organisations like the African Union that seek to mediate have achieved few tangible results, in part because neighbouring countries have competing interests, while outside powers do not invest sufficiently in conflict resolution.
The International Crisis Group’s latest report, “Sudan and South Sudan’s Merging Conflicts”, stresses the significance of the social and historical background of the conflict. It identifies the most pressing regional dynamics affecting the conflict in the Sudans as well as the key actors involved. In addition, the report includes some recommendations for international actors: China, US, the United Nation Security Council, IGAD and the African Union.